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Reynoldsia sandwicensis
Alternative Botanical Names
Reynoldsia degeneri
Reynoldsia hillebrandii
Reynoldsia hosakana
Reynoldsia huehuensis
Reynoldsia mauiensis
Reynoldsia oblonga
Reynoldsia venusta

Common Names
'Ohe kukuluae'o
'Ohe makai
Potential or Traditional Uses
Photo of Reynoldsia sandwicensis
Reynoldsia sandwicensis is a large tree reaching 65 to 70 feet tall with a straight trunk and spreading canopy. The 8 to 12 inch long medium or yellowish green leaves are made up of 5 to 15 leaflets. The leaflets are oval shaped and 3 to 4 inches long. Reynoldsia sandwicensis is deciduous; it drops its leaves during the dry season. The small flowers are greenish yellow often with orange or purple edges and grow in loose bunches. Individuals of this species vary considerably in leaf shape, leaf color, and size of the flower clusters. (Wagner 1990)
Habitat and Geographic Range
Reynoldsia sandwicensis is an endemic lowland tree and is generally is found in dry forests from 100 to 2,500 feet elevation. It is found on all the main Hawaiian islands except Kaua'i and Kaho'olawe. (Wagner 1990)
Propagation by Seeds
The fruit of Reynoldsia sandwicensis is dark purple, about 1/4 inch in diameter, and somewhat cone-shaped.

Seeds will germinate when left in the pulp, but removal of the pulp reduces disease and insect problems. Lilleeng-Rosenberger and Stratton et al recommend ripening the fruits in a plastic bag. This softens the pulp making the seeds easier to clean. After ripening, the fruit flesh can be removed by either placing the fruits in a colander or strainer under running water or breaking up the fruit by hand in a bowl of water. The lighter pulp will float and can be poured off. The seeds should then be washed thoroughly and air dried on a paper towel.

NTBG recommends soaking the seeds for 8 hours in cold water. Stratton's informants recommended 1 to 6 hours. The seeds should sink after 1 hour; discard any seeds that float.

NTBG suggests a planting mixture of 3 parts perlite and 1 part peat or vermiculite. Stratton et al use either a mixture of 3 parts #2 perlite to 1 part Sunshine Mix #4, or a mixture of 1 part peat to 1 part perlite to 1 part soil. Keep the medium moist and the containers in a shaded area until germination. Placing them in a covered area will reduce rain damage. Germination takes 1 to 6 months if seeds are fresh. Gradually acclimatize the seedlings to full sun.

Good germination rates are only obtained with fresh seed. If it is necessary to store the seed, put the cleaned, air dried seed into a paper bag or envelope inside an airtight container with dessicant. The container can be stored in a cool place at 25% relative humidity or in a refrigerator. (Anonymous 1978; NTBG n.d.; Stratton 1998; Wagner 1990)

Propagation by Cuttings
Weissich states that Reynoldsia sandwicensis grows less readily from cuttings than from seed. (Weissich 1995)
Propagation by Division
Not applicable.
Propagation by Air Layers
No information located to date.
Propagation by Grafting
No information located to date.
Propagation by Tissue Culture
No information located to date.
Anonymous. 1978. Propagation. Notes from Waimea Arboretum & Botanical Garden 5 (2):13.

Lilleeng-Rosenberger, Kerin. 1998. Propagation techniques for native Hawaiian plants. Newsletter of the Hawaiian Botanical Society 37 (2):33-35.

National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG). n.d. 'Ohe. In Native Hawaiian plant information sheets. Lawai, Kauai: Hawaii Plant Conservation Center. National Tropical Botanical Garden. Unpublished internal papers.

Stratton, Lisa, Leslie Hudson, Nova Suenaga, and Barrie Morgan. 1998. Overview of Hawaiian dry forest propagation techniques. Newsletter of the Hawaiian Botanical Society 37 (2):13, 15-27.

Wagner, Warren L., Darrel R. Herbst, and S. H. Sohmer. 1990. Manual of the flowering plants of Hawai'i. 2 vols., Bishop Museum Special Publication 83. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press and Bishop Museum Press. p. 231-232.

Weissich, Paul R. 1995. Hawaiian native plants in the landscape. Combined Proceedings International Plant Propagators' Society 44:332-335.

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The image in this record is used with permission from Dr. Gerald Carr's Web site "Hawaiian Native Plants" at

Last updated:
11 August 2001

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